Study: Brands need to fire up influencers during the holidays
- Brands can squeeze the most out of their marketing budgets by targeting their ads toward social-media users who influence what other people see during the holiday shopping season, consumer data provider Experian said. Those influencers typically have at least 1,000 followers and share what they see on social media, making them an important target audience, Experian said in a blog post.
- Vice News, PBS NewsHour, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live and the Today show are the most popular video programs among these influencers, Experian said. They tend to follow department stores (Amazon, eBay and Macy’s), household music (Spotify, SoundCloud and RCA Records) and cosmetics (Urban Decay, Jeffree Star and Benefit Cosmetics).
- Influencers are most active on social media from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. New York time. That means brand marketers need to think about posting content or making ad buys during these times to reach influencers, according to Experian’s Social Media Analysis service.
Digital word-of-mouth needs to feel authentic and sincere to be most effective, making the endorsements of social media influencers a key part of building brand equity and trust among consumers. Reaching those influencers is imperative during the holiday season, when consumers are receptive to marketing messages as they shop for gifts.
Experian provides some insights about influencers and how to reach them in the hope of building buzz for a brand or product. About 46% percent of highly influential social media users were ages 31 to 50, and were evenly split among men and women. These people generally fall into two categories. “Jet Set Urbanites” tend to be affluent singles and couples living “high-rise fashionable lives” in the city. The “Urban Edge” segment consists of younger, up-and-coming singles who “live big-city lifestyles” near top metropolitan markets, Experian said.
Those consumer categories may mean some products, such as lawn-care equipment and patio furniture, are better off with other kinds of promotions, but they are useful for a broad range of consumer goods like clothing and personal care, or services like restaurants and spas. As Experian recommends, marketers need to make sure their ads resonate with influencers and persuade them to become brand advocates. "The marketer who turns the insight into action will propel their holiday campaigns forward, and better position themselves into the new year," Mindy Pankoke, product manager for Experian Marketing Services, said in the blog post.